web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Orthodox Jewish’

African American May Run for NY Mayor as Fusion Candidate of Orthodox Jews, Evangelicals

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

The NY Post’s Michael Benjamin, himself a former Democratic assemblyman, reported that NY State Senator Malcolm Smith from Queens, a Democrat, is planning to be the city’s 109th mayor, come 2013, running on the Republican ticket. He also suggested that Smith’s trial balloon had rattled some GOP leaders, who are attempting to nip it in the bud. Democrats are saying Smith is just a stalking horse for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, meant to sway black votes from former city Comptroller Bill Thompson.

To remind you, Malcolm Smith’s former 15 minutes of fame happened over his pitifully short stint as State Senate majority leader — when he lost his majority after Democratic senators Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate defected to the GOP. It was political slapstick at its worst, and quite a record from which to recover. In the end, Smith was deposed by the Senate Democrats.

Benjamin reminded his readers that Smith still faces questions about a suspicious awarding of the contract to run the Aqueduct “Racino,” and irregularities at some charities with which he is associated.

“One of the questions we ask candidates is, ‘Have you ever done anything that would be an embarrassment to you or the Republican Party?’” Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa told the NY Daily News. “I don’t think he could pass that test.”

Except that the same Daily News report says State Republican Chairman Ed Cox confirmed that he met with Smith “at the urging of a mutual friend,” but declined to comment further.

“There’s an opening for a fusion candidate in the 2013 race,” says Benjamin, pointing out that all the Democratic candidates have been left of center, yet as the last five mayoral elections have shown, the left no longer has the majority even in New York City.

The alliance Benjamin envisions would combine Republican voters, the Orthodox Jewish bloc, outer-borough “Koch Democrats” and minority voters.

He suggests that the Haredi and the evangelical Christian communities are actively looking for a “traditional-values standard-bearer.”

The conservative blog “PlanetAlbany” opined that the best candidate would be an African-American former Democratic assemblyman who is pretty conservative on social issues, and an insightful political observer – namely NY Post pundit Michael Benjamin.

Colin Campbell of “Politicker” reminded his readers recently of the growing influence Orthodox Jewish voters are commanding in NY City politics, and that “even though the community’s voters might side strongly with the Republican candidate in the 2013 mayoral race, they are mostly registered as Democrats and candidates seeking to win the Democratic primary are extensively courting the community.”

All the candidates recognize this reality and are working hard to engage Orthodox voters, reported Yossi Gestetner a few months ago. As the candidates competing for the nomination are nearly identical on social issues, some have been working to separate themselves in other ways.”

Gestetner brought the example of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who started his own Iran boycott website and took a firm stance against the campaign within the Park Slope Food Co-op boycotting Israeli products, calling it “wrongheaded and an affront to American values and interests.”

Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo may have committed a costly mistake when vetoed a bill that would have made it possible for many special-education students to be placed in private schools using public funds. Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups had lobbied for the bill, arguing that children learn best in settings that resemble their home environment.

It may be just the kind of rallying point that would help elect New York’s Third Consecutive Republican mayor.

Too ‘Hot’ for Comfort, Temp Sues Orthodox Bosses in Failure to Communicate

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Native Intimates is an outfit that would not have made the cut at the Sunday Asifah by any stretch (so to speak). Its online blog promotes lingerie items with well written copy, a kind of “real women writing about their stuff” soft advertising which is both tasteful and appealing.

Of course, I don’t normally do my shopping at lingerie online outlets, and only went there looking for background material on a late breaking story that totally dovetails with the Asifah theme.

The owners of Native Intimates are Orthodox Jews. That by itself is not exactly shocking, since Jews of all stripes have been running New York’s garment industry since the early 20th century.

What’s unique about this particular outfit is their poor choice in letting go a female temp at their warehouse because she looked and dressed too provocatively for the workplace.

Not a good choice of words for employers in New York State. If the employee in question brings proof to back her allegations, which include a horror story of humiliation and ridicule, ending in termination, her frum bosses are in for a world of hurt.

Apparently, the part where she makes her accusations was extremely well staged for the benefit of the media. Reuters reported:

“Wearing a form-fitting sequined black dress and black leather, sequin-studded boots, Lauren Odes, 29, said her Orthodox Jewish employers at Native Intimates told her that outfit and others like it were ‘too hot’ for the warehouse.”

And she added: “We should not be judged by … the shape of our body.”

According to the NY Daily News, Odes told reporters that two days after she had been hired as data entry worker, back in April, a supervisor came over to let her know the Orthodox Jewish bosses were upset with the way she was dressing. Basically, they said, her looks were a dangerous distraction.

She said she agreed to switch to a gray T-shirt and black jeggings (leggings that are styled to look like tight denim jeans – I had to look it up) the next day. But the owners, she relates, were still unhappy.

It came down to the fact that her natural looks were simply too seductive, and she was even advised, so she says, to use tape to make herself less attractive to men.

Intimates’ website has been down, but their Facebook account is quite active, with a comment left by one Michael Blau: “Hello sexual harassing pigs. Have fun dealing with Gloria Allred…”

That’s Odes’s attorney, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who has filed a gender and religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York.

“I understand there are Orthodox Jewish men who may have their views on how a woman should dress and how much she should be covered,” Odes said. “But I am Jewish as well and don’t feel any employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on me.”

That last part is crucial. Because the lady in question has no perception of the fact that— from her employers’ point of view—she’s been imposing her standards and, yes, beliefs, on them.

The law may back her up and the company, like many others in the path of Gloria Allred, will eventually do the math and settle out of court (although I’m writing this without the benefit of speaking to them, and they could be presenting an entirely different version of the same events). But this is far from justice.

No one should have to endure unreasonable sexual tension in their own business. Just as women should not be subject to active sexual harassment in the workplace, so should men be entitled not to be passively harassed by temptations that disturb them.

The fact that they were not able to be straight forward with her about the conflict, as befits a relationship between real human beings, the fact that they couldn’t say, We’re sorry, you’re a nice person and all, but your physical attributes are making us uncomfortable, here’s two months’ pay plus a gift package, let’s part as friends – the fact they couldn’t do the menchy thing – is the fault of the law. And the PC environment we all live in.

At Least 50 Thousand Haredim Assemble to Decry Dangers of the Internet

Monday, May 21st, 2012

More than 50,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men packed Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, on Sunday, for the Asifa, a gathering decrying the dangers of the Internet. Organizers have also rented the nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the overflow crowd.

Several key leaders of the Haredi community in the U.S. attended the gathering, including Rabbi Matisyahu Chaim Salomon, the mashgiach ruchani (spiritual superviser) of the Beth Medrash Gavoha Yeshiva in Lakewood, New Jersey, Rabbi Eliezer Zusia, the Skulener Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Dishon, head of Mosdos Yad Yisroel Karlin Stolin, Rabbi Mordechai (Mottele) Hager, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Zalmen Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Leibish Leizer of Pshevorsk, Rabbi Ephraim Waxman, and Rabbi Leibish Leiser, the Pshevorsker Rebbe.

Critics have called the gathering an anti-Internet rally, but Eytan Kobre, a spokesman for the Ichud Hakehillos LeTohar Hamachane (communities united for the purity of our camp) said the group wants to teach families how to use technology responsibly.

“They’ll make decisions about how much technology they want to allow into their lives and what kind of safeguards they want to apply to that technology,” Kobre told WNYC Radio.

“There is a very significant downside to the Internet,” he added, according to Vos Iz Neias. “It does pose a challenge to us in various aspects of our lives.”

Kobre cited online pornography and gambling as well as the risk of social media undermining “our ability to pray uninterruptedly, to focus and to concentrate.”

Women were not allowed to attend the meeting, but the rally was broadcast live to women who gathered in schools and halls.

Lew Fidler For State Senate

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Jewish Press urges its readers in the 27th Senate District (which includes Flatbush and Boro Park) to vote for Lew Fidler in the special election on Tuesday, March 20. As New York City Councilman representing Marine Park, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay and Madison, Mr. Fidler has ably represented the interests of his Orthodox Jewish constituents and deserves their support.

On the everyday issues facing our community he’s always been there for us. He was in the forefront of efforts to restore $25 million for Priority Five after-school vouchers. He secured passage of a law requiring the provision of on-site nursing staffing for yeshivas. He led efforts for special education yeshiva funding including an autism initiative. Currently he is sponsoring legislation that would require the NYPD to provide security for yeshivas.

He promises that as a member of the State Senate he will continue his efforts on our behalf. He would seek tuition tax credits to reimburse parents for their tuition payments. He would pursue state funding for security cameras around yeshivas. He would increase state funding for after school activities. He would seek adjustments in the yeshiva bus transportation program to address complaints from parents that their needs are not being adequately addressed. He says he would move for prompt payment of tens of millions of dollars earned by yeshivas under the Mandated Services law but that remain unpaid.

We are not unmindful of the efforts of some to bring a halachic element to bear on this special election. That is, there are those who would have us believe there is a Torah imperative not to vote for Mr. Fidler because of his position on gay marriage. Certain rabbonim were importuned to sign on to a letter proclaiming the edict. Individuals are certainly entitled to follow the teachings of anyone they wish. However, the idea that there is a community-wide compulsory religious standard here seems wholly without basis. Indeed, there are significant rabbinic and Orthodox communal leaders who support Mr. Fidler’s candidacy.

Texas Orthodox Jewish School Loses Bball Final

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The NY Times reports that Robert M. Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish high school which succeeded in its appeal to reschedule a semi-final game of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools from Shabbat to Friday afternoon last week, on Saturday night lost to Abilene Christian, 46-42, in the state championship game.

The final, moved from Shabbat afternoon, was played at 8 p.m. at a Catholic school in Fort Worth. Beren Academy trailed for much of the first two quarters before tying the score at halftime, 19-19. But the Jewish team failed to keep pace with Abilene in the second half.

“We’re just happy they had a chance to play,” Beren Academy Coach Chris Cole said.

Congrats! Texas Jewish School Gets to Play Ball Friday Afternoon, Observe Shabbat

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The Robert M. Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish high school, was expecting to have to forfeit their game against the Covenant School of Dallas, which was scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday. The school appealed to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (Tapps), organizers of the event, but the association initially said it was unwilling to change the time of the game.

But on Thursday, Tapps announced it would allow the Beren Academy to reschedule the semifinal game as well as the final – if they win the semi.

The semifinal will be played at 2 p.m. Friday at Nolan Catholic High School in Forth Worth. The championship game would take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, according to Tapps director Edd Burelson, who confessed the changes were made after his organization had received hundreds of e-mails asking them to let the Beren kids play.

What Satmar Chassidim Can Teach The Author Who Trashed Them

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Dear Deborah,

Your book, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots, has touched a lot of nerves and unsettled a lot of hearts in the Orthodox Jewish community. It is not every day that a Satmar woman divorces her husband, moves to Manhattan and writes a tell-all book about the experience. It is not every day that a Satmar woman writes about her chassidic experience with derision and her intimate relations without inhibition.

My wife’s family is from Satmar, too. Her great-great grandfather was the shochet and chazzan in Satmar, Hungary, serving Grand Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum before World War II. Her great-grandfather left Satmar in the 1930s and moved to Portsmouth, England, where he served as the Orthodox pulpit rabbi of a less than observant congregation. His wife wanted to raise their children in a more modern environment and he went along with that decision. He never trimmed his beard or payos in Satmar but did so in Portsmouth. His wife shaved her hair in Satmar but didn’t do so in Portsmouth.

They didn’t write a book about the ordeal as you did. They respected their parents’ insular ways even if they couldn’t follow the path themselves. They wouldn’t – out of self-respect and human dignity – deride those who gave them life, God, and an eternal connection to Jewish destiny.

Deborah, our families share much in common. Chassidic life is not for us. In our view we should not be insular; we should make it our mission to inspire the world. But we part ways, fellow Satmarite, when you approach every Jewish law with cynicism and see sexual subjugation in every chassidic custom. I think you are writing yourself into the text.

I have no doubt you believed all you wrote to be true (including your allegation of castration and murder in Kiryas Joel which has been proven to be false). I wonder, however, if you are open enough to consider that your processing might be uniquely personal – defined through an emotionally scarred and spiritually detached lens that has affected the way you see the Jewish laws and customs that have inspired and unified your people for the past 2,000 years.

Your book became an immediate sensation. What is it that made it so popular? Is it an intellectual treatise, a work of authority? It is not. You write passionately but anecdotally, poignantly but subjectively.

You left your husband and heritage, choosing instead secular values. I have read books much more profound than yours by women who rejected secular culture, seeing its lifestyle as hedonistic, Godless, and disrespectful of their feminine dignity. They saw in secular culture a society that defines the perfect body as the perfect virtue, the undress of female as art, the augmented female figure as the appropriate trophy on the arm of the rich and famous. They chose chassidic Judaism instead.

But their books weren’t featured on “The View.” Their stories weren’t highlighted in newspapers across the globe. They didn’t receive a call back from Simon and Schuster. Why do you think that might be?

It is the alleged window into the chassidic bedroom that made your book sensational. And that is because there is so little about sex in the secular world that is private, dignified and feminine anymore. It is all so public, aggressive and masculine. When a woman is provocative she is not feminine but masculine, having traded relationship for sex. Perhaps the last frontier of feminine dignity is in the religious bedroom. And you besmirched the most wonderful, intimate experiences of a community by presenting your sad personal experience as the norm.

The women of “The View” ate it up. Deborah, it is not you they like. It is your validation they seek.

Leaving Satmar may be your defining moment. But it is a door, not a destination. What is your ideology? How do you define God? How do you make perfect the relationship between created and Creator, man and woman, man and self? How do you understand human challenge, temptation, frailty, and the longing to connect to an Eternal force?

You haven’t addressed the larger issues that any ideology must. Those who cheer you on celebrate what you do not believe, what you do not do. It would be more interesting and inspiring to know what you do believe, what you do in fact do.

Deborah, you are a woman who has crossed a river. You are free, entirely able to live your dreams. What are your dreams? In which moral community will you find a home?

Will it be a community in which people care for each other?  Will it be a community in which people make sure no one falls through the cracks? Will it be a community in which even the weakest are provided for? Will it be a community infused by a desire for closeness to God? Will it be a community in which gala weddings are made for the needy, even those who can’t pay for them themselves?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-satmar-chassidim-can-teach-the-author-who-trashed-them/2012/02/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: